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Woman finds photo of 60-year-old photo of father performing in panto along side future Queen

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A woman has spoken of her surprise at discovering two 60-year-old photographs of her late father performing in a pantomime alongside the then future Queen, could actually be prized collectibles.

Kathryn Rogers, from Kingsley, has two photographs and signed programmes of her father with the young Princess Elizabeth taken during wartime pantos.

The photographs show Kathryn’s father, Kenneth Richardson, posing alongside the rest of the cast in the two pantomime productions, staged in Windsor in 1943 and 1944.

However, closer inspection revealed that among the cast were the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret.

Mr Richardson, together with his grandfather, both worked in Windsor Great Park, the only Royal Park managed by The Crown Estate, which is connected to Windsor Castle. Kathryn said: “My father was later the head gardener at the Savill Gardens.

“He was the head gardener there for about 44 years. My great grandfather before that was also a groundsman.”

Owing to the family’s royal connections, Mr Richardson became involved in Christmas pantomimes staged at Windsor Castle in 1943 and 1944 when he was a child.

The pantos were performed in front of a private audience in the Castle’s Waterloo Chamber.

Kathryn added: “The children were invited to go and take part and be the chorus line. I got the photos from my dad.”

The 1943 production of Aladdin starred Princess Elizabeth in the lead role, with her sister performing as Princess Roxana.

In 1944, the young Queen played Lady Christina Sherwood in Old Mother Red Riding Boots, with Margaret in the role as the Honourable Lucinda Fairfax.

The photos were hung on Mr Richardson’s wall, but since his death three years ago have sat in a drawer in Kathryn’s house.

She only realised their potential value because of the sale of a much larger collection this week.That collection, which included almost 60 pictures, was due to be sold yesterday (Wednesday) at an auction in Gloucestershire.

She added: “We’ve just had them stuck in a drawer. We always heard the stories. I didn’t think about them to be honest.”

Kathryn said she was now keen to get them valued.

 
 
 

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